Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Capsule Review - Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace (U.S., 1944) – Pity Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant). Just as his life was just starting to seem normal, he returns home to announce his recent marriage, only to find that his brother (John Alexander) believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and his two sweet aunts (Josephine Hull and Jean Adair) have developed the nasty habit of “helping” lonely old men go to a better place using a concoction of arsenic and wine. Adding to this stress is the sudden arrival of his other, much more homicidal brother, Jonathon (Raymond Massey), a man who bears an unfortunate resemblance to Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. The cast is excellent, and the film is consistently funny. Grant, as always, steals the show, playing a man whose life is suddenly turned upside down by the most unexpected of circumstances. Peter Lorre has a memorable role as well. This is truly a great comedy. (on DVD)

4 stars

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